How to Thrive at Eighty-Five

Leadership Dynamic: Realize your God is a lot bigger than your difficulties


Joshua 14:6-13: The descendants of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb… said to him, “You know what the Lord promised Moses the man of God at Kadesh-barnea about you and me. I was 40 years old when Moses the Lord’s servant sent me from Kadesh-barnea to scout the land, and I brought back an honest report. My brothers who went with me caused the people’s hearts to melt with fear, but I remained loyal to the Lord my God. On that day Moses promised me: ‘The land where you have set foot will be an inheritance for you and your descendants forever, because you have remained loyal to the Lord my God.’


As you see, the Lord has kept me alive these forty-five years as He promised, since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel was journeying in the wilderness. Here I am today, eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me out. My strength for battle and for daily tasks is now as it was then. Now give me this hill country the Lord promised me on that day, because you heard then that the Anakim are there, as well as large fortified cities. Perhaps the Lord will be with me and I will drive them out as the Lord promised. Then Joshua blessed Caleb … and gave him Hebron as an inheritance.


Every Christian has the opportunity to leap from the ordinary to the extra-ordinary.  However, many are very mundane in their leadership skills, development, and training.   They are like a giant ship in a small pond.  They loom large before the people.  They have been at the church a long time.  Their influence has grown immensely. Yet, they have not grown in years. They have so much potential.  You can actually see the possibilities in them.  Yet, they are stuck in this pond.  There is no vision, no dreams, no port in which to travel.  They are simply a ship in a pond.

            You can see the potential in them.  They however cannot see it.  They think that since they have arisen to a level of leadership that is all there is.  There is no need to go anywhere else.  But what if we can change that leadership scenario.  What if we can develop them into gigantic leaders who love God and love his church. What if we can get them to look into the future and see what God has for them and the church.  What if we showed them how they can thrive at eighty-five.

            Not literally eighty-five, but in their senior years.  How many people have you got in your church that are over the age of fifty-five?  These are called senior citizens.  But they are more than that.  They are seniors in the kingdom of God who have or can have great leadership abilities and can move the church from the basic level to a gigantic movement of God.

            You say, “they don’t do anything.”  That may be true.  But maybe they are doing nothing because you let them sit and soak.  They have no great opportunity to lead and are given no responsibilities according to their giftedness.  So much of the time we will approach them and ask them to do small, insignificant things but don’t put them in a place according to their giftedness. 

            You say, “how do I know what their gifts are?”  That is easy.  You ask them.  If you can get this force of people working for the kingdom of God instead of occupying a seat in your services, you would have a mighty army moving forward in God’s work.  Lead them to let their senior years to be their productive years.


Caleb is a great example of this.


You see, Caleb serves as a good example of three important spiritual qualities you need if your people are to thrive at “Eighty-Five.”   I believe many of your people, regardless of age, possess these three qualities in their spiritual walk with God.  And others who can develop these qualities if given a purpose to move beyond where they are to where God wants them to be.


Caleb was promised a piece of land forty-five years earlier.  In talking with Moses, he was promised the hill country.  He was forty years old with all kinds of ideas on how to accomplish God work in the land of promise.

After forty-five years he still held on to that promise.  It was his dream and vision for the future.  Moses instilled that in him.  He believed that even at eighty-five he could take it and make it what God wanted it to become.  I WANT TO SHOW YOU A LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE AND WITH THIS I’LL CLOSE UNTIL NEXT WEEK.


Leadership Principle:

When God gives you a promise, never release it.